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Biblically Based Resources Every Wife Should Have In Her Library

Biblically Based Resources Every Wife Should Have In Her Library2

Often times we come into a marriage not knowing truly what God’s design is for marriage. We may have an idea, but we don’t truly understand until after we are married.

I love reading, and I love learning new things. As a wife, I am continually seeking out ways to grow in my role, to learn more from others, and to grow closer to God through this role he’s entrusted me with.

I have been encouraged by several resources, but today I’m going to share some of my favorite ones that have helped me in my role as a wife. All the books listed here are ones that I own in paperback. I love having books on my tablet, but some books are just so good, that I have to have them in hand too. I hope to pass these down to my daughters one day, as books like these are hard to come across today. We are flooded with a mass of resources for marriage and walking with Christ, yet few truly and honestly take you back to the Word. These resources are not just packed with the author words, and their experiences, but are also packed with scripture and they encourage you to turn to Him and the Word continually.

When Sinners Say I Do, by Dave Harvey

When Sinners Say I Do, by Dave Harvey

When Sinners Say I Do is book I recommend for every marriage. New, or seasoned. This is one that my husband and I have read together and separately, over and over again. I’m am continually encouraged by it and while this is a book geared towards husband and wife, the information in it is so incredibly valuable that you will be encouraged by it even if you don’t read it with your husband.

The Excellent Wife, by Martha Peace

The Excellent Wife, by Martha Peace

This book challenges you in every way possible. The Excellent Wife challenges your heart, your motives, and encourages you to live the biblical role that the Lord has designed for you. The book is based on Proverbs 31:10 ~ “An excellent wife, who can find?” For her worth is far above jewels.”

A Woman After God’s Own Heart, by Elizabeth George

A Woman After God's Own Heart, by Elizabeth George

A Woman After God’s Own Heart is a book that encourages women to follow God and see Him and His heart in every area of her life (marriage, parenting, at home, your walk with the Lord, and in ministry). This is probably one of my most worn out books. I take something new from it every single time I read it.

I love what Elizabeth has to say about being a Woman After God’s Own Heart in this video ~  click HERE.

A Wife After God’s Own Heart, by Elizabeth George

A Wife After God’s Own Heart, by Elizabeth George

A Wife After God’s Own Heart challenges you to learn how to lover your husband the way God designed. It reminds you to not focus on changing your husband, but instead to focus on your calling to be a wife…his wife. You can check out what Elizabeth has to say about A Wife After God’s Own Heart in this video ~ click HERE.

Loving God With All Your Mind, by Elizabeth George

Loving God With All Your Mind, by Elizabeth George

Through Loving God With All Your Mind, Elizabeth encourages you to draw closer to God and to love Him with all that you are. She tackles this through six Bible truths, including God’s purpose for life, and learning what is true about God and our lives.

Her words in this video are so encouraging (click HERE).

Sermons

I have few sermons that I frequently listen to. Why would I listen to them over and over? Somehow, I always take something new away from it depending on the season of life that I’m in. Here are some of my favorite ones:

Through those links, you can find both audio and text. You can also download the PDF of the text if you’d like.

What are some of your favorite resources that encourage a marriage based on Biblical principals?

 

Sermons And Biblically Based Resources For Husbands

Sermons And Biblically Based Resources For Husbands
I’m one of those book septic kind of guys. Too many opinions out there, and very little of them filled with any biblical truth. Due to that, I tend to stick to sermons and audio resources from speakers I have come to trust. That being said, there are a couple of books I have enjoyed and that I would consider valuable resources for husbands to read.

When Sinners Say I Do, by Dave Harvey

When Sinners Say I Do, by Dave Harvey

My wife and I were given this book early on in our marriage. We had just came out of the honeymoon phase and were struggling to find our place within our marriage. Our pastor at the time gave each of us a copy of When Sinners Say I Do, and although I feel that no book can be “life changing” as the Bible is, this book really kicked us in our pants. It focuses on the heart issues, making you look within and not outwardly at your spouse. If you are looking for one book, aside from the Bible, to encourage your marriage – hands down I would say that When Sinners Say I Do is the one you need to get.

The Exemplary Husband: A Biblical Perspective, by Stuart Scott (Forward by John MacArthur)

The Exemplary Husband by Stuart Scott

This is another book I really enjoyed. The Exemplary Husband is a four part book. It begins with focusing on an understanding of God’s sovereignty, on sin, on relationships, and on your role as a husband (your marriage).  Followed by a focus on leadership, stewardship, and intimacy. You’ll also deal with the heavy topics such as anger, fear, and anxiety. All of these are approached in a biblically sound way, helping you deal and look at each and every area in a biblical way.

Sermons, articles, and video

For the most part, I prefer audio over reading reading. Due to that, most of these resources contain audio or are complete audio/visual resources.

If you have any biblically sound resources for husbands that you would like to recommend, leave them in the comments!

 

 

 

The Power of Friendships In Marriage

By Mandy Kelly, Contributing Writer

Marriage is a friendship, but not the only one we need

There is the old saying that goes, “Friendship makes the world go round.” There might be some truth to that. Friendships are such a vital part of our lives. The ultimate friendship, outside of our personal relationship with Jesus Christ, begins the day our closest friend turns into our marriage partner for life!

friendship

Marriage is just a friendship that chooses to stick it out, through thick and thin, through good times and bad. They are the friends you choose to make family, and the ones we want to spend our every day and most intimate moments with. Yes, marriage is truly is lifelong, intimate friendship.

Yet, it wasn’t very long into my marriage that I learned my husband could not meet every need that I had. I still needed girl friends – and he still needed guy friends! I still like to get coffee and go shopping – and he still likes to go to the gun range and go fishing! We have learned to enjoy these task together, but he doesn’t like to shop as much as I might, and I don’t like to fish as long as he does! We have learned the importance of still needing friendships even though we’re married.

The blessings of other friends

It has been a great blessing to our marriage to have relationships with other married couples. Couples that are in the same life station as we are – that we can invest in, spend time with, and share life with! We have learned that there is a lot to be said of having people who call and encourage us, hold us accountable, and lift us up in prayer. These are all things we do together within our marriage, but that we also feel like we need friendships in order to help maintain these areas.

My husband is my best friend- there is no doubt in that. There isn’t a woman on this earth that I would run to before I ran to my husband with a need, for prayer, or to hang out with. However, I am so glad my husband knows me well enough to know that it fills my love tank, and brings me joy, when I get to spend time with other women. Especially women who can sharpen me in my faith. I have learned so much about being a wife and a mother through the relationships that I have made with other women in my life.

Some ways that my hubby and  I have this work out in our marriage are these:

1) We encourage each other to get lunch out with our friend (same gender)

This means we don’t take away from time with our family, or our spouse, but it does allow us time to connect. We set aside money in our budget for this as well.

2) Have couples over for dinner

This allows our whole family to get involved. We get to minster to another family in our home, and allows us to still be together, while allowing us to connect with other couples. We do dinner, game nights, and even movie nights at times. We have also done things where we go to events and concerts with other families.

3) Stay connected to your women’s and men’s ministries in your church

We encourage each other to always make church activities within our gender a priority. Baby showers, men’s prayer breakfasts, and Sunday school activities can be a great way to connect with other couples!

4) Double date

Grab a sitter if you need one (or a family member!) and go out and have fun with another couple. Sporting events, Bible Conferences,  or active things are always great ideas!

5) Keep “US” time a priority

My hubby and I make sure we have regular date lunches (once a week) and date nights (in or out) weekly. We have dinner together almost every night, and try to turn in at the same time nightly. This allows us to connect as a couple, and not get other relationships in a priority over that of our spouse.

Let’s allow ourselves the freedom to enjoy time with friends – I really feel like it makes my marriage stronger!

Take the 14 Day No-Nagging Challenge

By Sarah Logan, Contributing Writer

Here’s a true conversation that happened a few nights ago:

Sam: I love you.

Me:  I love you too.

Sam:  Now why would that be?

Me:  Because you don’t nag me…anymore.

Sam:  But I used to – how long has it been?

Me:  Oh, a number of years, I can’t remember.  What happened?  How’d you quit?

Sam:  I gave it up for Lent.

Me:  Really?!!  Are you serious?

Sam:  No, of course not!  (We both laughed!)

Me:  Well, how’d you do it then?

Sam:  I quit judging you, that’s all.

 

Take the 14 Day no-nagging challenge!

Some of us are more prone to nag than others. People tend to think it is usually women who nag – and in my experience that is true. However, in our marriage it has been the opposite – where I am more prone to be nagged than to nag. Let’s define our terms to begin.

Nagging. Even the onomatopoeic utterance causes one to cringe. It means to banter, make repeated requests, constant reminders, use verbal cues to elicit response or action. At its core is impatience and a need to control. The goal of the nag is often to make another person do his/her bidding. It isn’t subtle – it is more overt in its attempt to manipulate.

Needless to say, it is toxic to marriage - or to any relationship. And often people resort to nagging because they just cannot figure out how to get someone else to do something. “But he won’t…” “She won’t…” Unless I nag.

I’m not going to argue with you. You may be right. Maybe your husband won’t take out the trash unless you remind him constantly. Maybe you’ll be living in absolute squalor unless you heap complaint and requests upon your spouse. Maybe you just can’t accept living with a messy and so you use nagging to accomplish your Will.

You may be right. I’ll bet the trash would sit for longer than it should. Dishes will sit unwashed longer than you’d like. Things will be messy, more than you’d like. Oh well. You choose. Would you rather a strained relationship that lacks life and love and joy and a clean kitchen? Would you rather have your spouse cringe when you enter the room, waiting for the onslaught? Or would you like to enjoy a warm, accepting relationship where you work together as a team?

I know what I’d pick.

Sam no longer nags me. He used to. Some of my habits were (are?!) annoying. Some of my lackadaisical approach to life is trying for those living with me. I’ll admit it – I’m a work in progress. I don’t proclaim this proudly – I fail on a regular basis. You may notice I don’t write posts on how to keep an organized house or how to run your calendar efficiently. Someday, maybe I’ll arrive at a modicum of ‘normal’ in these categories. But until then I’ll stick with writing on topics of marriage stress!

I only say this because I want you to know I am writing from the perspective of one who has lived with nagging and has seen it dissipate and leave room for my own growth (though slow) and a revived, warm, partnership with my husband. It IS possible to quit nagging!

I want to challenge you to take the 14 Day Challenge: To lay aside every gripe, complaint, request and effort to change your spouse. Maybe doing this for a lifetime sounds daunting. Don’t worry about the lifetime part. Just do it for 14 days. My bet is you’ll see changes you never knew were possible in yourself and your spouse and you may just want to continue the experiment.

That’s it?  No – you can’t just quit saying things that are so used to rolling off your tongue.  The challenge is, every time you’re about to say something that is pushy, forceful, discontent, complaining or whining, zip your lips and quote Ephesians 4:29 to yourself.  I said ‘quote’ because in time, you will know it backwards and forwards.  Go write it down on a small card and stick it in your pocket.  If you can’t remember the words just whip it out and read it over to yourself.  Your spouse may think you odd for having halting speech and pulling out a card now and then, but just do it.  Don’t tell him/her you’re doing this project.  Just take the reigns of your mouth and turn the bit a bit (!) until you have your tongue more under control.

But the challenge doesn’t end with just biting your tongue. Biting your tongue is painful, tiresome and difficult. It requires more of us than we may have strength to muster. So the goal is to NOT have to bite your tongue.

How so? Does that mean you get to go back to nagging?!! NOoooooo…..

It means you need to address your heart. Biting one’s tongue is difficult because we all have the urge to speak what is within us. I’d like to challenge you to take the second 14 Days to another challenge – no longer will the rule be: “No nagging.” But it will be “No thinking disparaging, complaining thoughts of my spouse.”

Scripture tells us to take every thought captive. Let’s go ahead and apply that, shall we? Here’s what it looks like:

(Thinking to herself…)
1st Thought: “Hmmm… he must not care about me. If he did he would know how much it irritates me that the toilet paper isn’t replaced at the end of the roll. I’ve told him a gazillion times!”
2nd Thought: “Well, that was downright negative of me! Quit it, brain. That thought isn’t helpful, loving, kind or productive. Let’s take that thought to the mental trash bin.” (Mentally clicks on the nasty thought and drags it to the mental trash bin).
3rd Thought: “Lord, thank you for loving me in spite of my negative outlook. Help me to love him in a way that would honour You.”

That’s what taking thoughts captive looks like.

Now, go try it. Let me know how it goes!

A Fresh Plan for Prayer

In January I shared a fresh call to prayer for all of us in the New Year. Prayer is such a neglected spiritual discipline, both in the lives of individual Christians and churches. Throughout Church history we can see that the times when God’s people faithfully sought Him in prayer, God moved in marvelous ways, bringing revival, conversion, and change to His people.

All this is well and good, but good intentions won’t be carried out without practical planning. In light of this, I’d thought I’d share my plan of action for becoming a woman of prayer this year.

Plan for Prayer

Pray first thing when rising. This concept just dawned new for me as I was preparing for women’s Bible study. The author was discussing our need to give to the Lord our “first fruits”- and generally we apply this to our finances. But what about our time? I should use my time to seek the Lord first. I’d like to try to pray, even if only for a minute or two, each morning as I lay in bed before getting up, or even as my feet hit the floor to go after a crying child. There is certainly a Biblical precedent for it:

“O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice; in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch.” Psalm 5:3

“But I, O Lord, cry to you; in the morning my prayer comes before you.” Psalm 88:13

“And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.” Mark 1:35

Pray over the Word. As a general rule, I try to read the Word first thing in the morning too. As a mama of two little ones, this often happens while I’m nursing a baby, or later in the morning than I would like. Some days I won’t get into the Word until nap time, but as I’m reading I try to pray through each text of my daily reading plan.

Pray over meals. It’s so easy to rush through an obligatory prayer before we eat, anxious to fill hungry bellies before food grows cold. Yet this is a wonderful time to quickly turn your eyes back to the Lord, connect with Him, repent of recent sins, and thank Him for His blessings.

Pray with the little ones. Last year I read Elyze Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson’s Give Them Grace: Dazzling Your Kids with the Love of Jesus. The biggest impression it left on me was how desperately I needed to drench my own heart in the Gospel if I want to be a godly mother. One great way I can point my children to the Lord and show them what relationship with God looks like is by regularly praying with them. As we start the day, as discipline issues arise, as good things happen, as emotions elate and deflate.

Pray to kick off nap time. Once my children are asleep after lunch, I will set a timer for ten minutes of prayer. This allows me to refocus and be renewed in my mind, just in time for the late afternoon “witching hour” (the mamas all know what I mean).

Pray when I can’t fall asleep. It takes me ages to unwind each night before falling asleep. Instead of staring at the clock, running through my mental list of to dos, and allowing my mind to wander aimlessly, I am trying to take this time captive for prayer. I find it helpful to go over each part of the day just finished, using it as a structure to tether my focus. I confess sins committed, give thanks for blessings, pray for the people I’ve come into contact over the course of the day, etc. Usually this winds me down very well!

Attend corporal prayer meetings. Each Wednesday night our church gathers for prayer. Because the time usually runs over an hour past our kids’ bed time, my husband goes and I stay home with the kids. Now that our newest baby is getting older and less dependent on mom, we plan on rotating and taking turns attending. This helps me to connect with other believers as well as to the Lord, and is such a vital part of my Christian walk!

How do you make time for prayer? Let’s band together again and make a fresh commitment to prayer this month!

5 Ways To Spring Clean Your Marriage

By Naomi, Contributing Writer

Spring is almost here and most people will be spring cleaning their homes. Spring cleaning is a yearly task where the home is cleaned from top to bottom after being closed up during the winter season. It is a time to refresh the home. Well, marriages also need a little “spring cleaning” themselves.

5 Ways to Spring Clean Your Marriage!

They can get cluttered with ugly feelings or not-so-forgotten memories of being hurt. Even a marriage needs to be cleansed periodically. If not, those nasty little pesky things left undone just linger waiting to emerge at anytime to cause havoc. So, how do we cleanse our marriage? Here are five ways we can get our marriage back on track:

Getting Back on Track

1. We forgive

Are there things in our marriage that need to be forgiven? Are we harboring hurt feelings that can only lead to bitterness when not dealt with?

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32)

 

2. We apologize

Have we hurt the one we love and not taken responsibility for our words or action? We have a rule in our house: If we say or do something which we thought was in good fun but the receiver got hurt, we need to apologize for that even if our intentions were meant for good. How the one on the end received our words or actions matters more than how we intended it to be. Sometimes pride gets in the way of apologizing so we need to squash that pride and say “I’m sorry.

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.” (James 5:16)

 

3. We talk

Are there conversations that need to be had? About money, work, relatives, children, health, etc.? Being open with our spouse is very important. There should not be hidden concerns. This creates a wall of distrust. Open, honest and sincere is best!

Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ.” (Ephesians 4:15)


4. We romance

Have we forgotten to spoil our love? Sometimes we get so comfortable in our marriage we forget to demonstrate how much we love our spouse. We begin to take them for granted. Don’t do it. Romance them with love notes, flowers, favorite meals, massages, kind words, holding hands, etc.

Let us not love in word or talk [only] but in deed and in truth.” (1 John 3:18, brackets mine)

 

5. We sacrifice

Are we putting our loves before ourselves? Sacrificing takes more intentional effort. Its easy to get caught up in what we want or desire without any regard to what our spouse might want or desire. Take time to ask them. Make what they love one of the ways you love and appreciate them.

Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:4)

 

Spring cleaning a home requires hard work, intentional behavior and a plan. So does “spring cleaning” a marriage. If we have let things slide or “swept them under the rug”, we need to get on it. Fix that. Be intentional by forgiving them for a hurt even if they don’t seek forgiveness. Show them they are forgiven. Be intentional to ask forgiveness if you have hurt them. Seek to be sincere. Be intentional to romance them, date them, and put them before yourself. Don’t let these things fall to the wayside. Most importantly, talk with one another. Share your heart and build the trust in your marriage.

Does your marriage need some spring cleaning? How will you go about it today?

5 Marks of a Biblical Husband

Being a husband is a high calling, and should be treated as such. It is a wonderful role with many benefits and joys that go along with it. But being a husband also comes with a lot of responsibilities. It takes a character that has been molded by God and is in the process of continual improvement in order to successfully juggle the responsibilities and expectations that God has placed on husbands.

Here is a list of 5 marks that men should work on and pray for God’s help in cultivating that will enable them to be biblical husbands.

5 Marks of a Biblical Husband

Stewardship

Stewardship is the quality of one’s maturity and character, and how that maturity and character are acted out on a daily basis. One of the most common complaints wives have of their husbands is that they are not consistent with their roles and responsibilities within their marriage.

 ”As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace” ~ 1 Peter 4:10

Essentially, stewardship means faithfully handling all that God has entrusted you here on earth. Within the marriage relationship, that is a lot. As husbands, God has given us a wife, children, money, time, possessions, and many more things that we are to steward faithfully.

Love

I am not referring to romantic feelings, or sex, or physical attraction, which are often thought of as synonymous with love. These often make up what people refer to as being “in love.” While these things can be great, they will ebb and flow with time. They are all wonderful things to have in a marriage, but none of them are unconditional.

 ”Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” ~ Ephesians 5:25

True biblical love is like Christ’s love for the Church. Stuart Scott defines this type of love in The Exemplary Husband as “A selfless and enduring commitment of the will to care about benefit another person by righteous, truthful, and compassionate thoughts, words and actions.”

Biblical love has no ulterior motive, nor is it a feeling. It is always thinking of the other person, which in this case is the wife.

Leadership

God makes it clear in the Bible that the husband is to be the leader in the marriage relationship. This is not worldly leadership, typified by the CEO of a company, or a military general, but Christ-like leadership, as modeled by Jesus in the scriptures.

A husband’s leadership is very different from worldly leadership. This is primarily because a biblical husband is a servant-leader, as exemplified by Christ. Although this sounds paradoxical, servanthood and leadership coalesce very naturally. Christ was the perfect model of a servant while at the same time being the ideal leader.

 ”It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:26-28

This service oriented type of leadership that husbands are to display should be sacrificial in nature, and includes the ability to be decisive and to take action when needed. The primary purpose of a husband’s leadership should be to guide his family in righteousness.

Service

Simply put, service is humbly putting your wife’s needs before your own, consistently prioritizing her in the marriage relationship. A Godly husband is praying regularly for the ability to put aside his natural pride, and focusing on providing for the needs of his wife.

 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45

As was the case with the mark of leadership, Jesus is once again a perfect model for humble service. A husband should seek to have the mindset of Christ, that is, a focus on others without a desire for recognition or approval. Christ was always seeking to glorify God by selflessly serving others with no thought of his own needs. This is the mindset that a biblical husband should strive to have toward his wife.

Communication

This is a critical element, as poor communication is one of the biggest obstacles to a good marriage. The quality of a couple’s marriage is only as good as their ability to send and receive the correct message, right?

“Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.” Colossians 4:6

There are many components that make up good communication, both on the giving and the receiving end. However, I have found that husbands may tend to struggle in particular on the receiving end. We don’t listen well. That may be because we have a one-track mind, so when our wives start talking to us while we are otherwise occupied (watching the game, reading the news), and we simply don’t retain what they are saying. Or, it may be because we are so busy thinking about what our response is going to be that we don’t fully hear what they just finished saying.

Whatever the reason, listening is an important part of communication, and a husband endeavoring to develop good communication within their marriage should develop the ability to concentrate on what their wife is saying, refrain from interrupting, and carefully consider everything that is said.

Note

It should be clear that the list below is in no way exhaustive. There are many characteristics of Biblical husbands that are not listed below. Neither is this list comprehensive. It is simply a high level overview of 5 key marks to get you started.

An excellent resource on the topic of being a Biblical husband is the book The Exemplary Husband by Stuart Scott. The 5 characteristics discussed above, along with a whole host more are looked at in great detail in the book. I highly recommend The Exemplary Husband to any man committed to improving his marriage and desiring to bring it closer in line with God’s design.

*This post does contain affiliate links but we 100% fully recommend these resources.

5 Marks of a Biblical Wife

If you are a wife, then God has called you to a wonderful position. But at times, being a wife can be difficult and sometimes even overwhelming.  The struggles of life choke out our desire and occasionally even our ability to live out our Godly calling as wives. We look to the world to see how to fix our marriages and how to be wives, and our marriages end in divorce or we live in strife.

We need to look to the Bible and what God has to say on the subject in order to define what a Biblical wife is. While there are many things that God has called us to, I have identified just 5 of the many qualities of a Biblical wife.

5 Marks of a Biblical Wife

1) A Worker at Home

It is clear that God has given the home to women as their domain. Man are called to lead and provide for their family and we are called to care for our home and our family. Women struggle with many different areas, but being lazy in your home and also being too busy and out of the home often can lead to a wife who isn’t fulfilling her role in this area. This is not to say that women should only be in the home, nor is it to say that they should never work outside of the home. As my husband always says, don’t hear what I’m not saying. What I am saying is this: a wife’s primary responsibility is their home.

We see that God calls women to be workers at home many times in Scripture (Titus 2:3-5, 1 Timothy 5:14-15) and we have an excellent example from the Proverbs 31 women and can learn a valuable lesson from her. She was always busy working within and for her home.

“She looks for wool and flax, and works with her hands in delight…She rises also while it is still night, and gives food to her household, and portions to her maidens…She considers a field and buys it, from her earnings she plants a vineyard…her lamp does not go out at night… She stretches out her hands to the distaff, and her hands grasp the spindle… all her household are clothed with scarlet…She makes coverings for herself; her clothing is fine linen and purple…She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies belts to the tradesmen…She looks well to the ways of her house, and does not eat the bread of idleness.”  Proverbs 31:13, 15-16, 18-19, 21-22, 24, 27

Instead of feeling discouraged at how much the Proverbs 31 wife does, we should feel encouraged by her example and strive to emulate her. God gives the home to us as our domain and we should strive to be hard workers at home.

2) Love

All Christians are called to generally love, but wives are specifically called to love their family. Older women are instructed to train the younger women in how to live a Godly life:

“And so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.” Titus 2: 4-5

The kind of love that God calls wives to isn’t conditional and based upon feelings. This kind of love isn’t the kind that you can “fall out” of. It isn’t an optional love, it’s a commandment. Martha Peace shares in  The Excellent Wife:

“Godly love is not primarily a feeling, it is a choice. It will help you show love if you will think objectively (Biblically), not subjectively (based on feelings)” Page 84.

3) Respect for your husband

Most modern TV shows and movies portray husbands as goofballs and not responsible enough to  do anything but sit around and watch football. But as Christians, we know that this isn’t what a Godly husband should look like. And yet, Christian women often treat their husbands like the wives on those TV shows. They scold their husbands and treat them like they are children. But this isn’t how God instructs Godly women to act.

“However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.” Ephesians 5:33

Often, when a husband loves their wives the way they should, it is easy for a wife to respect her husband. Likewise, when a wife shows respects to her husband, it is easier for them to show love the way they should. While this is usually a nice trade off, it doesn’t always work. Even if a wife doesn’t feel loved by her husband, this isn’t an excuse to not show respect to her husband. Why? Because God commands it.

4) Intimacy (response to husband)

Of course this is the big one, intimacy. So many wives struggle with this in their marriage and many husbands and wives feel less than satisfied in their sex life. Peace shares, “The sexual bond between husband and wife is a gift from God for the enjoyment of physical intimacy and the procreation of life. All that God created is good, and physical intimacy is no exception” Pg 119.

God created sex within marriage, and He created it as gift for us. But some wives can struggle to see this as a gift and only as an obligation instead. There is a lot more to be said on this subject,  but the bottom line is that God does intend for each couple to have a sex life that is fulfilling for both husband and wife.

“Let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband. Let the husband fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband. The wife does not have  authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time that you may devote yourselves to prayer” 1 Corinthians 7:2-5. 

5) Submission

Submission is such a touchy subject today, but it is clear what Scripture teaches on the subject. Those who find excuses in order to ignore it are doing just that, making excuses and not looking to Scripture as their final authority. In a Biblical marriage, where both spouses are striving to live their God-given roles, the husband would ideally lead his wive lovingly and she would graciously submit.

This leading and submitting would be mutually beneficial and ultimately glorifying to God. However, a husband doesn’t always lovingly lead and the wife doesn’t always graciously and loving submit. But this doesn’t excuse either side from their roles. Submission is a much bigger topic than can be addressed in these few paragraphs, so to explore more on submission I highly recommend these resources:

While this list could go on about the marks of a Biblical wife, and each point could be discussed in great detail, this is at least a starting point. I know in my life I need constant reminders about what God calls us to instead of listening to worldly callings! I pray that this list will motivate you, and that you will pick up the Bible and read for yourself what it means to be a Biblical Wife or Husband. Stay tuned on Friday for the 5 Marks of a Biblical Marriage!

Note

It should be clear that the list below is in no way exhaustive. There are many characteristics of Biblical wives that are not listed below. Neither is this list comprehensive. It is simply a high level overview of 5 key marks to get you started.

An excellent resource that I highly recommend to all wives is The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace. It’s a comprehensive guide to all things having to do with our role as Biblical wives. Peace comes at you straight with scripture and then with the wisdom of an experienced wife and mother, and shares bit by bit and experience by experience what it looks like lived out in a practical manner. She is so humble and quick to share her own failure, you will quickly be convicted by the truth found in this book!

 *This post does contain affiliate links but we 100% fully recommend these resources.

The UN-Acceptables of Marriage

By Sarah Logan, Contributing Writer

Hear ye, hear ye:  Since royal heralds are no longer in operation, I shall resort to the use of this blog to Publicly Announce the UN-Acceptables of Marriage.  It could be that you missed this proclamation at some point in your life, so make haste to read on and discover what should be plainly obvious!

7 unacceptable things in marriage!

Image courtesy of [cuteimage] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

By the way, these apply to most relationships as well.

Let us first define our terms: Unacceptable – made up of three parts:

1.  UN – meaning non, negative, reverse, opposite of.

2. Accept – to be okay, to be received, allowable, permissible, condoned.

3. Able – the ability to, the capability of, the standard of application.

Marriage:  the union of Husband and Wife

Relationships: the interaction of persons with each other on a small or large scale.

The List of UnAcceptables of Marriage and Relationships

1.  Thou shalt not blame thy spouse.

“But wait a minute!  She did XYZ and now look what’s happened!  What do you mean I can’t blame her?!”

Let me remind you of 429.  This is code speak for Ephesians 4:29 “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouth but only what is helpful to build others up, according to their needs, that it might benefit those who listen.”  Unwholesome would include blaming words.

It is UNacceptable to lay blame.  Need I point out that it isn’t exactly helpful, it doesn’t build him/her up, it doesn’t bring progress or change, it only wounds and induces guilt that festers and divides close friends.  You may see temporary results – based on fear and nagging and such.  But blaming is never okay in marriage.

There are times to gently confront and share your disappointments and resolve issues.  But blaming tends to be in exasperation, frustration and anger – it tends to wither any goodwill that exists in your relationship.

2.  Thou shalt not put thy spouse under the microscope.

“But I thought I was here to improve his life!  Surely God would have me recognize areas of needed growth in his life and be the excellent counsellor that I am in order to make him a better, more-efficient, wonderful person!”

Sorry – try again.  You do not get to analyze your spouse to determine his/her faults and areas of needed change.  That is God the Holy Spirit’s job. Try to let HIM do the work and you do your part to lovingly accept him/her in spite of the things you think are so glaringly faulty.

How do you like being put under a microscope?  (Oh, you think you’re so well-adjusted that there is no fault in you?  Be reminded of the log and the speck:  ”You try so hard to remove the speck from your brother’s eye all the while you have a log in your own.” Luke 6:42)

3.  Thou shalt not allow selfish habits to go unchecked.

“I’ve always watched this show while consuming a huge bowl of popcorn.  She’ll just have to get used to it.”

“I never miss the games my favorite teams play.  And that’s final.”

“I know he’s a meat-eater, but I’m a vegetarian so he’ll just have to live with our new diet.”

“I have always had this time-consuming hobby.  I won’t allow marriage to change that.  I will do as I please, when I please, thank you very much.”

“I don’t want to resent my spouse or marriage, so I am going to make sure I get my me-time in no matter what.”  (Does that include when all the kids have stomach flu and are puking their guts out and the milk is low and your spouse has to work late?)

Selfish habits do not contribute to the joy of marriage.  Sure, they won’t vanish over night.  But there is no taking a pass on these things.  It is UNacceptable to ignore the selfish habits in your life and expect marriage to be a blessing.  Seek to be a blessing to your spouse and commit to work on your selfish habits until they fade into the background.

4.  Thou shalt not complain.

Complaining to a spouse sounds innocent enough.  But when it is about the spouse you are actually making your complaint to God.  You are seeking to fix your spouse to your liking.  Complaining is not looked upon fondly by our Creator.

5.  Thou shalt not make your spouse responsible for your happiness.

This is a burden he/she was never meant to take upon him/herself.  When you insinuate that you cannot be happy unless ____________ you basically push him/her into a corner and hold them responsible for your emotional state.  This is not good.  Quit it.

6.  Thou shalt not hinder your spouse’s freedom to be the person God has called him/her to be.

God may call your spouse to minister to someone in your church, community or a friend.  Even though marriage is central to your life, if you stand in the way of his/her freedom to serve others you are doing a disservice to your marriage.  If you struggle with insecurity – thinking you are not as important to your spouse as other things – there are ways to address this and grow together.  But hampering each other’s freedom is a fast track to disharmony.

7.  Thou shalt not isolate each other from Church, family or much-needed counsel and help.

Simply because you fear for your reputation or because you cringe to think anyone would know you are having problems, it is not enough to warrant your efforts to isolate yourselves from those you need the most.  Take your pride and your reputation to the foot of the cross and recognize we all fall far short of what God’s ideal is for us.  Get over it and get involved with those who will strengthen your union.

Choice is bad for marriage

By Jay Dee, Contributing Writer

Dan Gilbert, a psychology professor at Harvard, has been studying happiness for a while.  He ran a study a while ago on the photography class.

Students were given the choice of one photograph to have blown up and they could keep.  Half of the group was told they could exchange it within a certain time period if they liked.  The other group was told that once you make a selection, you were stuck with it.  Turns out that the students who able to change their mind ended up happier with their choice than the students who were given the option to exchange it (regardless of whether or not they decided to exchange it).

When choice is bad for marriage

Image courtesy of [David Castillo Dominici] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

When I learned of this study, I wondered: is there a correlation in marriage?  I think there is.

Growing up, I knew of only one or two marriages that ended in divorce in my sphere of relationships.  It was an extremely rare event in the Christian community I grew up in.  And those divorces that did happen were shocking, even years, decades later to find out that this person had been divorced.  One of the divorces that I knew about growing up was a pastor who had gotten divorced years before I had met him.  His son and I were in the same glass in elementary school.  When I found out, I didn’t know what to think.  Were pastors allowed to get divorced?  I thought Christians didn’t do that.  Everything in my upbringing told me that marriage was for life, there were no excuses, no ways out.  Sure, I knew of divorce, but that really wasn’t an option in my mind.

So, later on, when I got married, again, divorce wasn’t an option, and my wife grew up in the same sort of community with the same values.  When we said our vows, we meant for life.  No get out of jail free cards, no back door escapes, divorce was not an option.  What proceeded from that point on was a very rocky marriage for nearly a decade.  We fought, we argued, we ignored each other, we were selfish, we each had our own sexual sins to get over.  It took us each a long time to sort things out and figure out how to be a spouse, all the time growing closer to God.

After we had sorted our marriage out, fixed our bad habits and started fresh with what seemed like a new marriage, my wife asked me once if I ever thought of leaving.  I hadn’t.  Why not?  It was certainly bad enough at some points.  I’m sure it was for her as well.  But divorce wasn’t an option, and because it wasn’t an option, we were forced to make the best out of what we had.  Even in the lowest parts of our marriage, I loved her and wanted to be with her for the rest of our lives.

It was like the study.  I had made my choice, and now I was stuck with it, like it or not, for the rest of my life.  This does a few things:

1) You have to be very selective in choosing your spouse.

You won’t get another one, so pick well.  While our marriage started off bad, I still think I picked well, because one of my criteria was someone who wanted to follow God, to have that as a goal in her life.  Everything else, I think, will fall in place if you both have the same goal.  When you both follow God, you can’t help but grow as a person, and have your marriage grow as a result.

2) You have to make the best of what you have.

When leaving isn’t an option, you are forced to fix the problems.  You can’t just throw it out and start over with someone else.  So, we worked on our communication, we worked on our finances, we worked out our sex life, we worked on our health, we worked on all the pieces of our life we were unsatisfied with.  Because, after all, we only get this one.  We better make it the best one we can.

We’re still working on things, but we’ve come a long way.  Your brain also plays a trick on you.  When you have no choices, your brain will make you think that the path you are on is better than it is.  Dan Gilbert called this synthetic happiness, and I guess it is.  We create this happiness as a way to cope.  But guess what, you don’t know it’s synthetic, it feels like regular happiness, so it doesn’t really matter that it’s produced.

3) You don’t see other opportunities.

There was another study, which I can’t find now, that found that students in relationships tend to rate members of the opposite sex as less attractive than those who are single.  When you have no choice, your world starts to get filtered.  Your brain starts ignoring things that aren’t options.  You don’t see attractive people as a valid distraction or opportunity, in fact, you may not notice them at all.  And when you don’t notice them, or you don’t notice their attention, you don’t think about the grass being greener on the other side.  You only think about maintaining your own lawn.

4) You become more intentional.

A few years ago, I spent a lot of time trying to learn about investing.  I tried a lot of different investment streams with small amounts of money, or with play money, just to learn how they worked.  Let me tell you, there is a huge difference between investing with play money, or with a small amount of money versus investing your retirement savings.  When you aren’t really invested in it, you make stupid choices, you make quick decisions, you do things just to try them out.  You don’t really care much about the outcome, because, well, you can just get a do-over, you can reset the account, or throw in another $100.

But when you are playing with your life savings…well, that’s a different ball game.  You spend hours, days, weeks researching.  You make small changes and see how they will play out.  You are focused on your actions and their outcomes until you are sure it is healthy and wise move, and then you do it again with the next one.  Marriage without divorce is like this.  You don’t get to try again, so you become intentional in your actions.  You have a goal in mind, and you constantly take small steps to get there.

I thank God that we didn’t see divorce as an option.  If we did, I’m not sure we would have made it, and we would have missed out on the amazing marriage we have now.  It more than makes up for the years of difficulty we went through, and this new marriage is just getting started.  It feels a bit like we are newly weds, since we didn’t feel much like newly weds when we got married.

Your Turn

What are your views on divorce?  What are your spouses?  Have you both decided that divorce is not an option?